4 Tips to Help You Stop Spending Money on Fast Food


Have you ever tried to stop spending money on fast food, but failed miserably?

If so, join the club. The average American spends roughly $1200 a year on fast food alone. That’s a lot of money.

How to Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

Let’s not act surprised by this fact though, everyone loves fast food, myself included. Guilty or not, buying fast food on a regular basis can be very, very expensive.

While you might have good intentions to stop spending money on fast food, your quest to do so is often disrupted by billion dollar advertising campaigns, convenient locations, low prices and of course delicious food.

But here’s the good news, there are specific things you can do to fight these temptations and reduce your fast food expenditures.

4 Tips to Help You Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

  1. Prep Your Meals on the Weekend

  2. Leave Your Wallet at Home

  3. Take an Alternate Route Home

  4. Make it a Competition 

If you do these 4 things, or some combination of the 4, your fast food consumption should reduce dramatically and you’ll be able to live a healthier lifestyle both financially and physically.

Prep Your Meals on the Weekend

If you plan to stop spending money on fast food, that’s great, but you’ll need to eat something.

Once you’re hungry, your money begins to mean less and less to you.

Think about the last time you were starving and you came across a fast food restaurant, what was the last thing on your mind? Money.

Spending $10-$15 for fast food is a no brainer at this point. But this can be a vicious, vicious  cycle.

Prepping your meals for the week during the weekend is a great way to avoid this cycle.

How to Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

Weekdays can be tough, whether you’re a student or working full time, finding time each day to make food can be difficult.

And if you do happen to have a free hour or two each day, do you really want to spend that time making food? Probably not. Not me anyway.

By prepping your meals on the weekend, you can ensure that you’ll be well fed throughout the week, and your urge to make a quick left at the lights for that Wendy’s Baconator meal won’t be nearly as strong.

Leave Your Wallet at Home

If you don’t have any money on you, you can’t buy fast food. Heck you can’t buy anything.

Easy enough, right? Okay maybe not.

How to Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

Let’s face it. You can’t leave your wallet at home all the time, or even most of the time for that matter.  Things come up and you’ll usually need money on a daily basis.

Not only that, but if you’re driving a car, you’ll need your driver’s license on you.

You don’t want to be that classic person that when it comes to pay says “ I don’t have any money”, but simply put – not all situations in life require you to be carrying money around.

Going to visit your grandparents? Leave it. Going for a neighbourhood walk? Leave it. Going for a drive with a friend? LEAVE IT. These are just a few examples, obviously there are more, but you get the point.

By not having your wallet with you, the temptation to spend money on fast food becomes irrelevant because you physically can’t buy anything.

Similar to the times you want to check your phone but you left it at home. I don’t care how bad your temptation is, until you get your phone, you’re not checking it! It’s impossible, so you may as well forget about it.

Now you’re probably thinking,  what’s stopping me from going home to get my wallet? Well, nothing actually. But hopefully your cravings have subsided by the time you get home and you decide to eat one of your deliciously prepped meals instead.

Take an Alternate Route Home

Have you ever heard of the expression out of sight out of mind? Well that expression couldn’t be more true when it comes to avoiding fast food.

Physically avoiding fast food restaurants is a great way to stop spending money at these places.

You might think this is stupid, but it SERIOUSLY works.

I’m telling you right now, if you can avoid smelling those delicious Macdonald’s fries on your way home from school or work, you won’t be nearly as tempted to indulge in them.

Think about it, how many times have you had no intention of eating fast food until you saw those big Golden Arches looming up over the trees in the distance. Personally, it happens to me all the time.  I am driving along minding my own business and then boom, I see that big M and all the sudden I am starving. Yep, that’s marketing for you.

How to Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

If you really love fast food, you’ll probably go out of your way to eat it on occasion, but oftentimes you don’t know you want it until it’s staring directly at you. So try your best to avoid these trigger points!

With that said, don’t be unrealistic about it, don’t go half an hour out of your way just to avoid spending money on fast food. Gas ain’t free either!

Make it a Competition

Another great great way to stop spending money on fast food is to enter into a little friendly competition with someone you know – such as a friend or family member.

For example – Make a bet with your sister that the next person to eat fast food owes the other person $50. If you’re competitive like me, you’d be surprised how well this works! Heck, I’ll go without eating in general before I lose to one of my siblings!

Unfortunately, unless you’re physically attached at the hip, you won’t know for sure if the other person has eaten fast food and cheated or not, so you’ll have to go on the honour system. But like any form of cheating, you’re just cheating yourself, so what’s the point?

Quick Note # 1 – Make sure the loser’s consequences are big enough that they’ll really think twice about throwing back a few value meals but not big enough where a moment of weakness drastically impacts their life. “Next person to spend money on fast food loses their left thumb”. Wait what!!

Another way to go about this is to compete against time. 

For example, you and a friend could try and not spend any money on fast food for 6 months.

Setting specific goals and writing them down drastically increase your chances of achieving them. 

In fact, your chances for success might actually increase by competing with someone as opposed to against them.

How to Stop Spending Money on Fast Food

Not only does having a clear, concise goal (no fast food for 6 months) help your chances, but you’re also working with a “team” which makes you more accountable for your actions.

You don’t want to disappoint your friend and spend money on fast food before the 6 months is up do you?! It’d be like missing a last second buzzer beater in basketball, you had one job!!

I digress. You get my point here I’m sure.

Setting goals or having friendly competitions against your friends is fun and gets the competitive juices flowing. Next thing you know you won’t even want fast food as all you can think about is spending less money on fast food than your partner.

6 years later, and you’ll both still be cheating!

Conclusion

If you want to stop spending money on fast food, you need willpower and discipline. However, despite your best efforts, the savoury taste of fast food can sometimes be too much to over power. and this is why I decided to share with you these 4 tips with you.

You see, the things that we love about fast food are also the things that make it bad. It’s quick to order, tasty to eat, and inexpensive to buy.

Occasionally spending money on fast food isn’t going to break your bank. But like any small purchase, if you make them over and over again, they begin to add up.

If you’re like me, and you enjoy fast food, these tips won’t completely eliminate fast food from your budget,  but they should help reduce your overall fast food expenditure…. and your waistline for that matter! But who’s measuring?

Noel Moffatt

Noel Moffatt is the founder and main contributor for his blog - The Financial Geek. Based in Canada, Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 300k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

Similar Articles

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]